Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Aintree's Lynne Soaps up Success

Inspirational Aintree woman Lynne Allen is turning troubled times into sweet smelling business success. Working with son Peter, Lynne has launched her own business ‘Ayntre Soaps’ selling handmade soaps.

However, the path to success hasn’t always been smooth for the mum of four. When Lynne’s parents were sadly taken ill she found she had to give up work as a lecturer in computing to become a full time carer.

Lynne said “As a carer you feel isolated and almost lose yourself. I loved my mum and dad dearly, but it’s hard to maintain your identity as a full time carer. You feel like you can’t do anything else.”

She had always been in her words been “a bit arty farty” and enjoyed arts and crafts. Spending a lot of time at home due to their caring responsibilities, Lynne and son Peter decided to try their hand at making their own soaps as a hobby. Once they had mastered the art they started to give the soaps away as gifts to friends, but soon found requests for more to pass on were flying back at them. It was then they realised that they might be able to turn this into a business opportunity.

Sadly Lynne’s mother passed away, and not long after she then lost her father. The double bereavement impacted hugely on Lynne’s confidence and she suffered a nervous breakdown.

Lynne said “I used to as a lecturer stand in front of 200 students no problem, but found after dad died even speaking to someone one to one was really tough. For two months Peter and I just pretty much stared at the wall we just found it so hard. Thankfully we had some great friends who just really showed belief in us and our soap making and their support really got us going.”

A chance meeting with a member of staff from The Women’s Organisation at a vintage fair helped Lynne realise that there was support out there for women like her. She took up the opportunity to see a business adviser one to one and get support with business planning as well as attending training around marketing and joining the free business club.

“To be honest The Women’s Organisation have been wonderful!” said Lynne. “They made me feel like I didn’t have to struggle on trying to just put my professional head on, but could be real with them. The first event I attended was the first time I had left the house alone in 6 months, but they let me know there would be a friendly face there and it was great. Not just from a business point of view, but on a personal level they have been really understanding and helped work around my circumstances. It’s nice to not feel alone, like you can when going self-employed. It’s having someone in your corner who also kicks you into gear when things need doing. I had never run my own business before, though my dad had been self-employed for 30 years before he took ill, so he was a great source of information too. He was really proud of me setting up my business.”

Although working together as mother and son can be tricky “if mum and son have argued the night before, trying to go back to business partners the next day”, Lynne enjoys working alongside Peter. “We each bring different strengths to the business. He is the scientific one and I am the arty one so when we are making the soaps we do it together.”

They have developed a strong range of products catering for even customers with issues such as eczema and psoriasis, as well as those who just want a quality product to pamper themselves with. “We have had good feedback so far” said a delighted Lynne. “In general everybody seems to really like it. Our customers tend to be people who care about what they are putting on their skin. We are just gob smacked that we make it and people want to buy it! When it’s your own business you have an emotional tie to the product, and comparing yourself to larger retailers can be intimidating, but so far we are pleased with the response.”

Lynne wanted to encourage other carers who may feel isolated and like there is no support for them to take strength from her story and think what they can do for themselves. “Even if the soap making wasn’t how we made a living, it gave us something that was ours and having that time or passion that is just about you is so important.”

Ayntre Soaps specialise in palm oil free, completely handmade soaps. They hold a regular stall at Ormskirk market on Saturdays, are currently stocked in Oak Studio in London and can be found on Facebook, Twitter @Ayntresoaps or their website You can also contact Lynne on

If like Lynne you are a woman looking for support and guidance with setting up your own business, contact our team FREE on 0151 706 8111/0161 833 8800 or, and you can visit our website

The Women's Organisation Open Day in Liverpool

Are You a Woman
Considering Working for Yourself?

Whether at the early ideas stage, or if you are already running your own business and are looking for advice, funding and support…

You can meet our staff for an informal chat on the FREE support
The Women’s Organisation can offer including
access to our £200 grant at our OPEN DAY

At: Wavertree Library
Picton Road
L15 4LP

On: Monday 18th July
Between: 12-3pm

If you are unable to make that session, but would like more information about
The Women’s Organisation, please visit or call 0151 706 8111

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Knowsley Women Get Business Planning!

The Women's Organisation are offering FREE places on our one day intensive Business Planning Course out in Knowsley. Open to women who have a clear business idea and are considering self-employment in the borough of Knowsley.

This lively, interactive day will give you an insight on how to;

• Develop a clear vision for your business
• Complete a SWOT analysis
• Understand the importance of market research and how to complete it
• Create a marketing plan
• Understand how to complete the financial forecasts for your business

On completion of the course you will be given the opportunity to book an appointment to see a qualified business adviser for one to one help and support.

The next Knowsley course will be:
AT: Halewood One Stop Shop
ON: Tuesday 12th July, 9.30am-3pm

For more information or to book a place please call our team on 0151 706 8111 email for more details or to book a place.

Monday, June 27, 2011

FREE Employment Law Seminar

FREE Employment Law Seminar

Friday 22nd July 2011

Disciplinary Procedures & Misconduct Dismissals
Presentation: with case studies

1. Disciplinary Procedures
 What should they include?
 What if there are none?

2. Disciplining an employee
 How can this be done fairly?
 How do I prove misconduct?
 What if I suspend the employee?

3. Dismissing for misconduct
 How serious must it be to dismiss?
 How can I do this fairly?
 What are the main risks for an employer?

Time: 10:00 – 12:00
Venue: The Women’s Organisation
54 St James Street, Liverpool L1 0AB

To reserve a place please contact Miss Claire Perry on:

Tel: 0151 524 4540

Friday, June 24, 2011

Social Auditing Dilemma


New ideas, methods and concepts are often deliberated and introduced in Nepal in different areas of social, political and economic development. Some ideas and concepts are zealously taken up, but abandoned abruptly before they are properly defined, executed and implemented to produce some useful results and outcomes. Others are tossed about and discussed in workshops and seminars as luxurious pastimes of the so-called experts, good governance protagonists and consultants. A few are such that they are appreciated and introduced in policies and documents. And, some guidelines, manuals and directives have been developed supposedly to implement them. But, neither their execution is taken very seriously nor coordination among agencies exist to share knowledge and experiences to define and develop common understanding and purpose on the matter.

The irony is that certain variant of ideas and concepts are imported from outside. Or they may be induced by donors as well. Even if indigenous local knowledge and experiences exist on the matter, they are not searched out, recognized and appreciated to define according to the contemporary need and context. The indigenous local knowledge is often superseded by new donor-driven ideas laced with conventional tautologies, clich├ęs and jargons. One such concept perhaps is social accounting and auditing.

The donors and the government are seemingly keen to embed and introduce social accounting and auditing in development institutions and projects in Nepal . The World Bank is implementing the project to promote social auditing and accountability as if it was a new importation in the world of Nepal’s citizen centric governance. Accordingly, the Association of International Non-governemntal organizations (AIN) has floated a guideline on social auditing and it requires its grant recipient and partners to implement. Likewise, some ministries of the Government of Nepal have developed guidelines to promote and embed the concept of social accounting and auditing to ensure stakeholders’ participation and ownership, transparency and accountability in projects and development actions.

As discussed in the training organized by the Social Audit Forum/ Nepal on social accounting recently, at least the Ministry of Local Development and the Ministry of Education have their separate guidelines for embedding social auditing in institutions and projects to enhance financial integrity and transparency. The training workshop was held with support of the Social Audit Network (SAN) UK in which Ms. Lisa as lead trainer brought experiences from around the globe in general and the practices in UK in particular on social accounting and auditing.

The government of Nepal requires schools in particular to let the local community conduct auditing on their actions and performance. The Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) is made responsible for conducting audit over the actions of the schools. The concept of social accountability and social auditing is being used and sought to be catapulted into focus in Nepal, but basic confusions seem to persist over the definition and connotations of the related terms.All that is used and applied in Nepal goes generally in the name of the social auditing (Samajik Lekha Parikshan), which is organized as one-off exercise generally aimed at enabling users and beneficiaries to have access to information on the performance of institutions or projects. Though in the context where culture of secrecy and opacity reign supreme, it is useful as it provides an occasion for a community to have access to information and raise questions over theorganizational or project performance and results. But, the exercises have been reduced to the ritualized events under the generic rubric of social auditing The terms social accounting and social auditing are not the same as understood in generic terms. Social accounting/accountability is the internal norm and process which should be embedded within the fabric of an organization. It is concretely defined by Social Audit Network/ UK as a process whereby an organization collects, analyses and interprets descriptive, quantitative and qualitative information in order to produce an account of its performance. Being able to account for what an organization does should be central in coordinating and planning all actions and activities.

Social auditing is the last and important phase in the broader spectrum of social accounting. It is a process whereby independent group of persons/panel review and verify the social accounting at the end of each social accounting period. The practice generally applied elsewhere is that Social Audit statement should be authenticated by the independent social auditors and disclosed to all stakeholders. In Nepal, the different connotations of the terminologies should be carefully understood and social accounting, like financial accounting, should be embedded as a regular and continuous process within the fabric of a public organization defined in the Right to Information law.

See our report of Lisa McMullan's visit to Nepal here.

Networking Opportunities June/July

WISE Connections - Networking Launch
Tuesday, June 28, 2011 from 12:00 PM - 2:30 PM (GMT)
Merseyside, United Kingdom

Are you a woman working in Social Enterprise?

Are you interested in learning more about Social Enterprise?

WISE Connections are proud to launch our first network event where you can:

Gain peer support from other social entrepreneurs

· Share knowledge and resources

· Learn new skills to develop your social enterprise

· Be inspired and motivated

Find out more about WISE Connections Activities and Events:

Guest Speakers to be confirmed
Kindly sponsored by South Sefton Development Trust
Click Here to book your place now
Lunch included. Nearest car park is located in Bootle Strand Shopping Centre

Free Networking Event with Enable North
South Sefton & North Liverpool Resident, Business or Service Provider
Date: Friday 1st July 2011
Time: 10am till 12:30pm
Venue: The Merton Inn, 40-42 Merton Road, Bootle, L20 3BG

Get involved: Come and mix with local business people, support services and potential customers in a relaxed and local setting. Bring your promotional items or just come along and find out more about Enable and what we can do to help you and your potential business.
Click here for more details and bookings.

JellyLiverpool First Anniversary
Thursday 7th July : 9am-5pm
Leaf Tea Shop on Bold St, Liverpool (2nd Floor)

Come & join in our celebrations. Some prizes to be won.
So what is JellyLiverpool?

If you haven’t yet experienced Jelly, perhaps it’s time to check it out. Fed up with the isolation and clutter of the spare room? Fed up with being distracted by the TV or the washing up, or even the kids?… then JellyLiverpool is for you.

Jelly is a FREE monthly work-together held in a city centre location and if you work alone, at home or elsewhere and crave some company and want to connect with like-minded individuals, pop along!

No matter what you do or what you create, you’re welcome to come to Jelly. Mingle with like-minded creative people. It’s a great way to put faces to those you follow on Twitter and more importantly it’s Free …… Free wifi, Free deskspace, Free coffee.

Bring your own laptop and a friendly disposition. Pop in for an hour or 2 or come work for the full day. New faces made very welcome.

Check out Jelly Liverpool on facebook.

Open Coffee Network
Thursday 14th July 2011
10am – 12pm
Bean Coffee – The Meeting Place
Brunswick Business Park
Tower St, (off Sefton Street)
L3 4BJ

Open Coffee is a relaxed and informal business network hosted by Waves Enterprise. It is free to attend, and provides the opportunity to meet and develop new contacts with other small businesses from across Liverpool.

To book your place please e-mail

• If you are joining us for the first time, or would like to be introduced to others on the day, just contact Debbie beforehand.

• If you are a regular attendee or would like to introduce yourself by way of a 60 second promo or a special offer to attendees call Debbie on 07776 188279 to discuss.

Networking opportunities are also available through The Women's Organisation Business Club which is currently FREE to women running a business in Merseyside or Greater Manchester. For more information on how to join and forthcoming events contact our team on 0151 706 8111 or

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Women's Organisation WICED Development

The Women's Organisation unveiled a first image of the proposed £5.3 m Women’s International Centre for Economic Development (WICED) back in September 2009. Work soon got underway on the development which is located in the Baltic Triangle area of Liverpool, on the corner of St James Street and Norfork Street.

What was a patch of bare wasteland now houses the fantastic new building which will provide a range of enterprise support services, including space for up to 80 business units to help women start and grow their businesses as well as serving as an international research hub for women's economic development.
The 2,000sqm centre aims to ‘break the gender gap’ in starting businesses and is expected to help 3,000 women set up businesses in the next 10 years. The project has been jointly-funded by WICED, the North West Development Agency, Future Builders and Liverpool Council.

The Women's Organisation have now started to house their first tenants and are happy to show interested parties around the building. Rates for rented office space depend on the size of the room and any additional services required e.g. telephone services. Those interested can express their requirements and receive a quote tailored to individual needs.

The virtual office and meeting room rates start from £15 plus VAT per month to rent a virtual office. Meeting rooms can be rented from £60 plus VAT per day with half day rates also available.

Tenants receive 10% discount on the cost of meeting room hire and by doing business in our new building, you can tap into a wealth of valuable resources including networking and business advice and support.

Call The Women's Organisation on 0151 706 8111 or email to arrange a viewing.

Photos by

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Liverpool Woman Turns Photography Passion into a Business

Having worked for 10 years as a photographer for other people, Liverpool resident Emma Hillier took a moment to reflect. Her choices we apparent – either be a manager of someone else’s studio, which would involve less photography and more paperwork or branch out on her own and carry on doing what she loved – taking photographs.

Emma said “The whole thing was quite daunting at first. I didn’t know where to start and, as all the kit I had been using belonged to the studio I was employed at, I needed money for equipment so it was like starting from scratch. But I figured if you don’t try, you’re never going to know if you could do it.”

Not knowing where to begin Emma contacted Business Link for advice who put her in touch with The Women’s Organisation where she was linked with a business adviser. She said “I had a lot of help from my adviser. The whole thing with looking at the business plan was great. It helped me to realise what I wanted to do and put it in order. I could see where I was and where I wanted to go.”

Using her initiative Emma took photographs of friends’ weddings and portraits of friends’ children to start building up her portfolio again and things developed from there. Her friends and family weren’t surprised that she took the bold step to branch out on her own knowing her passion for photography and how keen she was to be behind the camera more.

As a tip to other women setting up Emma advised “You must do your market research – see what your competitors are doing, and you’ve got to be passionate about what you do and motivate yourself. I think being a woman in my industry can give me the competitive edge, particularly in photographing children. In my experience it seems that mums can be more trusting of other women and feel more at ease.”

Emma also took advantage of the FREE courses on offer at The Women’s Organisation around basic book keeping, understanding tax and national insurance and promoting your business online. “It can get lonely working for yourself” said Emma. “I have gone from working in an office with a team of other people to working on my own. That’s why I enjoy the courses and events: it helps you feel less isolated.”
Online networking through sites like facebook Emma has discovered to be invaluable for building links and word of mouth marketing. In fact she said she has gathered more work that way than through any other marketing.

Starting her own business Emma says is “The best decision” she ever made. Emma Hillier Photography specialise in children and family portraits and weddings, also producing landscape images as art for the home. For more information on their services you can search for their fanpage on facebook or get in touch via or 07919 091 211.

And, if like Emma you are interested in starting up your own business call The Women’s Organisation on 0151 706 8111 and find out about the range of FREE services we can offer. You can also email or visit

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Liverpool Business Week: 20 - 23 June 2011

Downtown Liverpool will host the fourth annual Liverpool Business Week from 20th - 23rd June, in partnership with Liverpool Vision.

The week will explore how the city can take advantage of its entrepreneurial spirit and begin to grow a thriving business community during these challenging times.

Delegates will have the opportunity to hear from City Council Leader Joe Anderson on his first year in office; Vision CEO Max Steinberg; Liverpool property entrepreneur and football club owner Steve Morgan; Maggie O’ Carroll from The Women’s Organisation; serial female entrepreneur Natalie Hayward and, in an exclusive interview with DLIB, Jonathan Ortmans from the USA based Kauffman Foundation, hosts of the Global Entrepreneurship Congress. Details of other speakers and the various Business Week events.

For Liverpool Business Week schedule and booking click here.

International Visitors at The Women's Organisation

From its inception the new home of The Women's Organisation has always welcomed the idea of linking with international partners. The goal being to draw on worldwide experiences of women's economic development, to use that research and partnership working to drive the equality agenda forward.

The Women's Organisation were therefore delighted to host second time visitor Dr Isolde Anderson from Hope College in Michigan in the US.

Since Isolde's last visit (click here for story) the organisation has seen massive change including a rebranding of Train 2000 to The Women's Organisation, and a completion of the Women's International Centre for Economic Development (WICED) that is now the 54 St James St home of the Liverpool branch in L1.

Isolde whose research interests include organisational culture and leadership was excited to take a tour of the new development and spend time with the team to see how things have moved forward.

She said "When I first visited Train 2000 (as it was then) I was looking at the culture of the organisation for my research. Now so much has changed have great basis for a comparison."

Isolde is currently working in affiliation with Liverpool Hope University to develop a course that will bring 8-15 students over from the United States to research the topic of 'community' within Liverpool. They will be looking at things such as where people in Liverpool find community other than via work or at home.

We asked Dr Anderson what her impression of the city was. She said "I love Liverpool! I love the fact that it is a city that doesn't have the self importance of London. It is a working class city with a deep history. I really like the north of England, and Liverpool has a lot of culture too. There is interesting architecture and a lot of energy to the city. There is always someone awake here. My town back in the States has just 35,000 people. It's so quiet and small. I like big cities."

Having taken a tour of the new building Isolde concluded "It is just beautiful. It feels less busy than the old building as there is so much more space and it isn't fully occupied yet. I bet in a year there will be lots more energy in the building once we see more units full and the cafe open."

Finally we asked Dr Anderson why she chose to link with The Women's Organisation and what her impressions were. She said "What you do here is very different to the States. It's a very important role you play. And the people who work at The Women's Organisation all like working here, that in itself is rare. I am a strong feminist and I love the commitment to women that the organisation has."

To find out more about The Women's Organisation and our international links visit

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Women's Networks North West

Women in our region gather together regularly to network and discuss issues that are facing them. Whether you are woman looking to network for business purposes or a woman who just wants her voice heard within the local community there are plenty of groups out there for you to get involved in. Below are details of just some of those we have worked with in recent times that we wanted to draw your attention to:

Merseyside Women’s Movement
This group hosts informal social meets discussing women’s issues, campaigns and politics. Meetings are planned throughout the summer, held at the Clove Hitch on Hope Street from 6pm onwards.
Dates for your diary: Tuesday 28th June, Wednesday 20th July and Thursday 18th August. All women welcome. For further details contact Vicky Canning Hayley Webb and Hannah Ryan Please feel free to attend.

Liverpool Women's Network (LCVS)
Set up by LCVS and launched at The Women's Organisation, this network is aimed at women who want to discuss business, political, and community issues surrounding women in Liverpool. The Next meeting will be on: 5th July 2011 12.00pm to 2.00pm
Ground Floor Meeting Room, 151 Dale St, Liverpool L2 2AH
Contact Gail Jordan at LCVS via for membership details.

Knowsley Women in Business Network
Creating a warm and nurturing environment with a business focus, this group provides Knowsley business women with local networking opportunities. Contact Sheila Toft on for details of membership and events.

Women in Business
Local network run by Ellie Kerr who has a passion and a wealth of experience in supporting women in enterprise. Holding networking opportunities through the year contact for membership and event details.

The Women's Organisation Business Club
This FREE networking group is open to women in Merseyside or Greater Manchester. Holding regular networking meetings and training opportunities for members to attend. Contact The Women's Organisation on 0151 706 8111 or for details of how to join. Next networking event will be held on Tuesday 21st June 6pm-8.30pm at The Women's Organisation, 54 St James Street, Liverpool, L1 0AB.

We know that this list just scratches the surface, so if you know of more fantastic local networks for women that could be of use to our members then contact for details of how to publicise this.

Friday, June 10, 2011

'Build Your Own Brand' with The W.O. Business Club

The Women's Organisation are delighted to invite local women to this months Business Club event 'Build Your Own Brand'.

Held on: Tuesday 21st June 6pm-8.30pm
Held at: The Women's Organisation, 54 St James Street, Liverpool, L1 0AB

This motivating networking event will feature a talk from business club member Clare Delve on how you can use PR to your advantage, dispelling some of the myths around PR and explaining why it is important to any business.

Clare Delve (pictured) has worked across all areas of the media industry over the last 13 years. She launched her Public Relations and Media Management firm - Clare Delve - in 2011 after taking redundancy from her post as Media Manager where she was responsible for working with national, local and trade media to proactively promote the work of the Government’s pathfinder programme across Merseyside. Clare's background is as a Broadcast Journalist, joining the News Team at Radio City in Liverpool in 1998. After spending three years there reading and producing bulletins along with interviewing a wide variety of people including Samuel L. Jackson and Richard Attenborough, she moved to the BBC and joined the News Team at Radio Merseyside.

Also giving some helpful hints and sharing some insight from her own journey will be Emma Hill, editor of brand new glamerous glossy 'His and Hers' Magazine. 'His and Hers' run an inspirational 'Winning Women' column each month, which has already featured The Women's Organisation clients and their business success stories and Emma is always on the look out for more fantastic women to feature.

Booking is essential by calling 0151 706 8111 or emailing

The event is FREE to members of The Women's Organisation Business Club.
Business Club membership is free of charge and open to women currently running a business in Merseyside or Greater Manchester.

If you are not yet a member and would like to attend this event please call 0151 706 8111 or email to book a place and register

Thursday, June 9, 2011

LCVS Training - Planning for Funding

LCVS Training - Planning for Funding
Thursday 16 June, 10.00am to 4.00pm - LCVS, 151 Dale Street, L2 2AH.

With cuts in grants and other funding, the competition for the remaining funding opportunities has become even fiercer. Funders more than ever want to see evidence of good project planning so they can be sure their money goes to the best projects.

This session will increase your chances of writing successful applications – by going through a step-by-step process of creating a ‘project plan’.

During this session you will learn:

What makes a good project plan
How to create your own plan and reap the benefits
How this relates to funders and funding applications
How to identify and present the full costs of your project
How a good project plan can save a fundraiser time and increase success rates
The course will be led by an experienced LCVS Funding Adviser who works with groups on a daily basis.

Please see the booking form or full brochure for how to book and terms and conditions.

LCVS members £63
Non-members (third sector organisations) £70
Statutory / public / other £140

For details of this event please contact LCVS on T. 0151 227 5177 | E.

The Women's Organisation currently have a £200 grant available to women setting up business in Knowsley, Sefton or Liverpool. For more information on this contact our team on 0151 706 8111 or

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Xingwana: Hasten Empowerment of Women


Cape Town - Extra measures need to be taken urgently to hasten the transformation and empowerment of women, Minister for Women, Children and People with Disabilities Lulu Xingwana said on Tuesday.

Addressing the National Assembly during debate on her budget vote, Xingwana said while women constituted more than 50% of the population, they remained "severely" under-represented in decision-making positions.

She said women constituted less than 10% of chief executives and chairpersons of boards of companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).

They held less than 16% of directorships and 21% of executive management positions.

The number of better performing companies with 25% or more of female directors and executive managers continued to decrease from 58 in 2008 to 37 in 2010.

"We still have 27 JSE-listed companies without even a single woman at directorship or executive management level. One example is Checkers, which does not have a single woman in its board despite the vast majority of its customers and workers being women.

"Clearly there is an urgent need for extra measures to be taken to hasten the process of transformation and empowerment of women," said Xingwana.

She said the department was working on the gender equity bill which would provide the necessary legislative authority to hasten the empowerment of women.

It would address issues of enforcement and compliance towards the attainment of the 50/50 gender parity target.

Consultation on the bill was underway and the final draft would be submitted to Cabinet for approval by March 2012.

"The enactment of the gender equality bill will lead to systemic improvements for women and facilitate the attainment of gender equality," said Xingwana.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Hair & Beauty Businesses Learn How to 'Survive the Cuts'

Local Hair and Beauty Businesses were invited to a master class event with The Women's Organisation to help them to boost business and survive the recession.

The women enjoyed talks from Beth Nolan and Denise Johnson (pictured first and second above) from Hugh Baird College who gave an overview of opportunities for utilising apprentices for hair and beauty businesses and the support the college can offer. The attendees were particularly interested to learn that Hugh Baird don't currently charge the business 50% of the training costs for apprentices over the age of 18, something that is common practice on other apprenticeship schemes.

Also offering helpful hints was Jane Hammond (third from the left) from Courtney Consultancy. Jane offered some insight into key H.R. considerations for hair and beauty employers. She encouraged the business women that carefully thinking about your H.R. processes can ensure that your have a "motivated workforce" as expectations are clear and they feel more at ease. Jane also offered key pointers around protecting yourself from disputes as an employer. Courtney Consultancy are offering FREE HR Power Hour sessions across Liverpool that all local businesses could benefit from. Click here for more details.

Rounding off the afternoon with her highly motivational style was Jo Copoc (pictured far right) of Boomerang Business Solutions. Jo spoke about how to increase overall average value sales and giving good customer service. For hair and beauty businesses she said it is about getting past that initial rapport building conversation and introducing some "good questions". Asking your customer 'why' they choose certain products over others, 'when' they are most likley to get certain treatments done 'how' they feel about they service they have had etc. provides you with valuable information that can help you find products and services right for them.

The women were asked what they thought of the day and what they enjoyed most. They said:

"Relaxing and informative"
"Very comfortable and pleasant"
"I learnt a lot and got a lot out of the day"
"I found it very helpful"
"Beautiful venue"
"I enjoyed the variety of help from all aspects of business"
"I enjoyed the presentations and learning about selling techniques, appreticeships and training"
"The venue was excellent"
"I learned how to promote the business and enjoyed gathering new ideas and networking"
"I liked the motivation and enthusiasm"
"The venue was fantastic!"

To register your interest for future networking and training opportunities with The Women's Organisation, contact our team on 0151 706 8111 or email

Networking for 'Mums in Business'

Kirwans are delighted to invite you to our popular networking event for professional mums offering you the opportunity to meet and network with other "mums in business" and make connections that could help boost your business.

If you are a professional working mum then this unique, informal networking event really is for you.

The theme of the event is "Protecting your most Prized Possessions". Along with networking we will also hear from two successful working mums.

Claire Currie of Kirwans Solicitors will be talking about the advantages of making a Will when you are a parent and putting your affairs in order. We also welcome guest speaker, Suzanne Bradshaw of Chartered Accountants McEwan Wallace who will be looking at 'family finances'.

VENUE: HARD DAYS NIGHT HOTEL: Central Buildings, North John Street, Liverpool L2 6RR

To reserve your FREE place, please call Lisa Alty on 0151 703 1918 or email

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Canadian Woman Means Business on Liverpool Art Scene

Having finished her Arts degree in Toronto, Heather aged just 21 took the brave step of moving to the UK to further her career. Attending Imperial College London Heather completed her MBA before deciding to move to Liverpool when an employment opportunity arose within the arts.

“I wanted to explore bigger cities than Toronto” said Heather. “The Art market in the UK is much more International than in Canada in terms of whom you meet and have the opportunity to work with. The commercial market for arts is much stronger too in my opinion. It’s funny, I had a lack of fear at the time of moving. It could have gone so wrong, but it’s worked out well.”

When moving to Liverpool Heather found employment at FACT and started to work with other local arts organisations developing her experience in Arts and Curating. However, having completed her MBA she felt the pull to use her skills to be “more entrepreneurial”.

“I like having my fingers in different pots and there is a lot of art and culture happening in Liverpool. I felt like there was a need for freelance and independent curators and consultants who could see what’s out there and pull everything together.”

Seven years on from uprooting, Heather came to The Women’s Organisation to work with a business adviser on her business plan and funding application. She said, “The best thing about working with The Women’s Organisation was having someone to kick me into doing it. Just having someone to talk to makes it more real. Coming to their beautiful new building gives you confidence to take yourself seriously, like it was made for you.”

Following her passion for art, Heather is now operating as ‘Heather Corcoran, Consultant and Curator’ offering her services to local artists and arts organisations. She specialises particularly in working with digital art and media art working towards producing exhibitions and works of art, assisting with arts fund raising and working as a freelance curator.

“One thing I have learned in the process that I think is an important tip for other women thinking of going self-employed is: Harness those networks you have developed over the years through your employment or experience. Consolidate those contacts and let them know what you are doing and that you are available.”

One of Heather’s favourite artists Nam June Park recently came to Liverpool via exhibitions at FACT and Tate Gallery. She is keen to see more high profile artists exhibiting in the region. To find out more about the services Heather can offer you can contact her on

If like Heather you are interested in starting up your own business call The Women’s Organisation on 0151 706 8111 and find out about the range of FREE services we can offer. You can also email or visit

Agent Marketing Supporting Social Enterprises

Friday 3rd June, 2pm to 4pm
@The Enterprise Hub, Blackburne House

SSE Liverpool Hub Conversations:
Marketing & Communications

Meet the Experts & Talk about how to Develop your Social Enterprise.
Launching the first in the series of SSE Liverpool Hub Conversations is the fabulous team at the award winning Agent Marketing, sharing their expertise on all things Marketing and Communications.

Meet the Agent Team:
Wayne Malcolm (Director) talking about Campaign Management
Jayne Moore (Director) discussing PR
Paul Corcoran (Director) talking about Social Media
Adam Tilston (Account Manager) discussing Marketing Strategy
Ben Spencer (Lead Creative) talking about Branding and Design.

To book your place give Lisa a call on 0151 708 3914 or email her at
Places cost £25 each and £10 each for SSE Liverpool Fellows.

FREE Employment Law Seminar!

FREE Employment Law Seminar

Friday 22nd July 2011

Disciplinary Procedures & Misconduct Dismissals
Presentation: with case studies

1. Disciplinary Procedures
 What should they include?
 What if there are none?

2. Disciplining an employee
 How can this be done fairly?
 How do I prove misconduct?
 What if I suspend the employee?

3. Dismissing for misconduct
 How serious must it be to dismiss?
 How can I do this fairly?
 What are the main risks for an employer?

Time: 10:00 – 12:00
Venue: The Women’s Organisation
54 St James Street, Liverpool L1 0AB

To reserve a place please contact Miss Claire Perry on:

Tel: 0151 524 4540